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- Street Fighter X Tekken
Doko ni imasu ka? Earlier this week, Capcom's Yoshinoro Ono in an interview with GR's Josh Laddin light-heartedly joked that Namco was far behind with Tekken X Street Fighter:
[T]he Tekken team and Harada-san over there haven’t even put together one page of design documents regarding their game yet! They’re so slow… I want to put in all sorts of whatever nods or easter eggs that I can, but just two weeks ago Harada-san called me and said, “Hey… can I have a list of the Street Fighter characters?” And I was like, “What? You’re so slow!” It’ll probably take them six years to come out with their game!
So will Tekken X Street Fighter even exist? Maybe Namco and Capcom are playing friendly and just decided not to have competing games release during the same time, but Namco is in an incredibly tight spot. Not only are they going second after what looks to be an action-packed title in Street Fighter X Tekken, but they clearly have the more difficult design challenge.
Just thinking about how to transform Street Fighter characters into Tekken characters makes me want to get clotheslined by King and Marduk instead. Where Capcom can easily reduce the moveset of a Tekken character into a Street Fighter character, Namco needs to formulate more than fifty strikes and grabs for each Street Fighter character. That's so much work, in animations alone, that I'll be surprised if the final roster will have a more than ten representatives from Street Fighter.
And then comes to the question of how to translate Street Fighter characters appropriately into the Tekken engine. Namco can't have Ryu spam fireballs and shoryukens, and then expect gameplay to be balanced and anywhere close to Tekken. Then again, if they eliminate fireballs and other moves like Blanka's electricity and E. Honda's hundred-hand slap, then the SF characters might feel too neutered. The only compromise I can think of is perhaps making the fireball a slowly charged projectile that can easily blocked or sidestepped.
Luckily, Namco isn't totally in the weeds, since many characters from Super Street Fighter IV have their counterparts in the Tekken universe. Ryu and Ken can have their movesets based off Jin's Karate form and Paul's ; Guile's brawling style can take some notes from Bryan Fury's mercenary style; Zangief and Abel have King and Marduk to take from; Sagat and Adon's muay thai has a close resemblance to Bruce Irving's; Fei Long has Law; Juri has Hwoarang; E. Honda has Ganryu; Balrog has Steve Fox; and Crimson Viper has Nina. See, Namco? It ain't so bad.
Of course, we don't want Namco to cut and paste movesets from one character to another. That would be disappointing and lazy. In fact, I would rather see Namco get rid of about half of the shotokan characters from Street Fighter to ensure that variety is well-spread. That, or at least give Sakura, Dan, and Akuma distinctive movesets.
That said, Namco needs to get off its butt and start working on Tekken X Street Fighter, beyond the teaser pic from Gamescom 2010 at the top of this article. It's been almost a year and a half since the game's announcement at 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, and there's not even "one page of design documents"?! At least create a cover page. Put the name of the game in the center. I mean, you don't want to forget what you're making, right?